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Gen Y Personal Branding Gurus are Uberfull of Ubercrap

Gen Y Personal Branding GuruSo, I'm checking out this post by Jessica Stillman, who writes the Entry-Level Rebel (aka Gen Y) blog for BNET, called Personal Branding: 5 Secrets of Success from Guy Kawasaki. As I'm reading, I become less and less interested in the content and more and more interested in unraveling its convoluted origins.

As Jessica explains, it's actually sort of a repost of self-proclaimed "online reputation management expert for Generation Y" Pete Kistler's post called Guy Kawasaki's 5-Point Guide to Personal Branding. Now, Pete's story was actually posted on so-called "personal branding guru" Dan Schawbel's Personal Branding Blog.

And the "5 Secrets" or "5-Point Guide," whichever title you prefer, came from Kawasaki's book Art of the Start, which is actually about how to start a business or launch a product. The book has absolutely nothing to do with personal branding, which is probably why it did so well.

So here's the big question. Why do I get the feeling that lately, a huge chunk of the business world has taken a horribly misguided detour from B2C and B2B to Me2Me?
I mean, why does it rub me the wrong way that these Generation Me uber-gurus and experts who've never built a company or marketed anything but themselves are so interested in ever-more insidious ways to promote themselves? And why does it feel like what passes for knowledge and expertise these days is really just a waste of genetic material that might otherwise have made something useful of itself?

Wait, is that a little too over-the-top? Oh well, there goes my personal brand down the toilet.

Actually, here's an even better question. If these pearls of personal branding wisdom are so incredibly earth-shattering that they absolutely had to be posted, reposted, and repackaged by such notable personal branding gurus and online management experts, then why didn't said gurus and experts come up with them themselves? And you've got to wonder why, if they're so important, they're burried deep inside a book on another subject?

I don't know, maybe it bugs me that personal branding is such a transparently obvious uberpile of ubercrap that takes self-help to new lows I wouldn't have even remotely thought possible that it actually makes me sad. Or that there's seemingly endless demand for this sort of self-absorbed, self-centered, self-involved, self-promoting crap by millions of 'me's just like the personal branding gurus who spew it.

Yeah, I think that's it.

Note: My apologies for getting Jessica Stillman, who writes a perfectly useful and interesting blog for BNET, wrapped up in my uber-rant. In fact, Jessica's not a self-proclaimed or so-called anything, but I think she's a very good writer. Ditto apologies to Guy Kawasaki.

Image CC 2.0 via Flickr

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